Aberfoyle, Stirling

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Coordinates: 56°10′52″N 4°23′16″W / 56.1812°N 4.3877°W / 56.1812; -4.3877

Aberfoyle (Scottish Gaelic: Obar Phuill) is a village in the region of Stirling, Scotland, 27 miles (43 km) northwest of Glasgow.

The town is situated at the base of Craigmore (1,271 foot / 387 metres high) and on the Laggan, a head-water of the River Forth. Since 1885, when the Duke of Montrose constructed a road over the eastern shoulder of Craigmore to join the older road at the entrance of the Trossachs pass, Aberfoyle has become the alternative route to the Trossachs and Loch Katrine; this road, known as the Duke's Road or Duke's Pass, was opened to the public in 1931 when the Forestry Commission acquired the land.

Loch Ard, about two miles (3 km) west of Aberfoyle, lies 105 feet (32 m) above the sea. It is three miles (5 km) long (including the narrows at the east end) and one mile (1½ km) broad. Towards the west end is Eilean Gorm (the green isle), and near the north-western shore are the falls of Ledard. Two miles northwest is Loch Chon, at 90 feet (27 m) above the sea, 1¼ miles (2 km) long, and about half a mile broad. It drains by the Avon Dhu to Loch Ard, which is drained in turn by the Laggan.

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Industry

The slate quarries on Craigmore which operated from the 1820s to the 1950s are now defunct; at its peak this was a major industry. Other industries included an ironworks, established in the 1720s, as well as wool spinning and a lint mill. In 1880 a railway line from Glasgow, via Dumgoyne, to Aberfoyle was established. However the line was closed in 1959.

The above industries have since died out, and Aberfoyle is supported mainly by the forestry industry and tourism.[3]

Tourism

Visitors were first attracted to Aberfoyle and the surrounding area after the publication of The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott in 1810. The poem described the beauty of Loch Katrine. Aberfoyle describes itself as The Gateway to the Trossachs, and is well situated for visitors to access attractions such as Loch Lomond and Inchmahome Priory at the Lake of Menteith. A tourist information office run by VisitScotland sits in the centre of town, offering free information, selling souvenirs and acting as a booking office for many of the local B&B's and hotels. Aberfoyle Golf Club was built in 1860 and is located just south of town near the Rob Roy restaurant. Aberfoyle is also part of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.[4]

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